How to fix American government

End gerrymandering of voter districts.  Mandate that all districts have as equal as possible the number of Democrat voters as Republican voters.  

I wish I could remember where I got this idea, sometime in the last couple of weeks, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.  Ask yourself, why do we tend to have extremists, both liberal and conservative, as our political representatives in government?  Because most districts have been cooked so that one side or the other has a huge advantage.  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, second in line to ascend to King Emperor Obama’s throne, was elevated to that position by virtue of representing a district that is crazy liberal.  On the other side, Rep. Eric Cantor represents a district that would sooner undergo full body cavity searches before boarding planes than elect a liberal Democrat.  The system is broke. 

“Call your Congressman” only works when your Congressman might actually give a hoot what you have to say.  If you are in the vast minority, either as a conservative in Speaker Pelosi’s district, or as a liberal in Rep. Cantor’s district, you are, not to be too cliché–shit out of luck. I happen to be a staunch conservative who lives in Cantor’s district, so this is not just sour grapes. 

Make the bastards earn our votes.  I would rather live in a district that is close to 50-50 Democrats and Republicans. First, it would be much easier to throw the bums out.  The country would be much better off without all these professional politicians who stay in Washington and in the state capitals for decades.  We would not need term limits so desperately, since every election would be hotly contested. 

Second, it would make the representatives more responsive to “We, The People.”  Instead of coasting to victory with no primary opposition, and developing the attitude that they could care less about what their constituents thought, our elected officials would be forced to scramble for each and every vote.  They might actually care what we think.

Third, it will lead to more bipartisanship.  If all districts are competitive, politicians can not just pander to their extremist base, they will have to garner at least some support from the other side in order to get elected, or at least not take too extreme a position. 

Fourth, it will increase voter participation.  How many times have we all been to the polls and cast a vote that was essentially worthless, either because our candidate was a shoo-in, or had zero chance of winning.  With competitive districts, all votes matter.

Moderates should love this idea.  As it is, we have very few moderates as representatives, at least at the federal level.  When districts are so lopsided one side or the other it leads to more liberal or more conservative representatives being elected, period.  Moderates would have more say, and more actual moderate representatives. 

Conservatives should like this idea.   America is a center-right nation on most issues.  If all districts are close to 50-50 Democrat to Republican in composition, conservative values will win out.  No, not ultra-conservative values, but conservative values. We will have to actually work to convince a majority of voters to accept our ultra-conservative values, and many times we shall fail.  But at least we would have a fighting chance in every district.   As it is, we only have a chance in the conservative districts.  Don’t know about you, but I would rather take my chances in a scenario where all districts are competitive than I would where at least in half of the districts conservative ideas don’t have a chance of even being considered. 

Hmmm. Who might not benefit as much by changing the system and having the make up of voters in districts approximately equal between Democrats and Republicans?  Liberals.  But so what? Only approximately 20% of Americans consistently self-identify themselves as liberals.  Under the current system, the liberals have way too much power commensurate with the percentage of self-professed liberal voters nationwide.  Under the current system, moderate or slightly conservative Democrat representatives are forced to take their marching orders from Pelosi.

What do you think? Go ahead and comment.

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